Contributed by Sara Zorich
Since Congress has recessed for the holiday break, no immigration reform bills and/or comprehensive immigration reform bill is slotted for vote in 2013. It appears that there will be a major push for the topic to be addressed during 2014. We anticipate that mandatory E-Verify will be a component of any immigration bill passed, thus all employers must be cognizant of pending immigration reform. We will keep you updated of the developments in 2014.
December has been a busy month for E-Verify updates. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a number of announcements regarding updates to E-Verify policies and procedures:
- There is a new page for employers on E-Verify that explains the role of E-Verify Monitoring and Compliance. (http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/employers/monitoring-and-compliance) Employers should review this information and note that their usage of E-Verify is being monitored. Suspected misuse or abuse of the program is being referred to appropriate agencies for enforcement. Misuse/abuse of the program could lead to an employer to incur fines, back wage payments and/or debarment from the program.
- On December 8, 2013, E-Verify released new Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) for those employers participating in E-Verify. The revision date noted on the new MOUs is June 1, 2013. The effective date of the MOU for new users is December 8, 2013. Existing E-Verify employers/users do not need to execute a new MOU but are bound by the new or revised MOU that applies to their access method. The effective date of the new MOU for existing users is January 8, 2014. A copy of the new MOUs can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/publications/memos/publications-memorandums. Employers are encouraged to review the new MOU applicable to them to ensure they are aware of their new and continued obligations under the E-Verify program.
- The E-Verify participation posters have been modified, requiring less ink while printing. Employers currently enrolled in E-Verify do not need to print these new posters so long as they printed and have the prior versions posted in their workplace. New employers signing up to E-Verify will be prompted to download, print and post the English and Spanish Notice of E-Verify Participation and the Office of Special Counsel Right to Work posters after enrollment and completing the online tutorial. Employers can access the posters after logging in to E-Verify.